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Cardinals cough up early lead, but come up with clutch hits late to beat Diamondbacks 9-6

Lynn Worthy, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Baseball

PHOENIX — After they saw a six-run lead evaporate in the span of one inning, the St. Louis Cardinals regrouped and retook the lead thanks to the clutch hitting of Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt.

That run swung the pendulum back in the Cardinals' favor. The offense tacked on insurance runs, and the bullpen held on for a more-dramatic-than-it-needed-to-be victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the desert.

Nolan Arenado (3 for 5) and Lars Nootbaar hit home runs that accounted for five of the Cardinals’ first six runs, while Donovan went 3 for 4 with two runs scored as part of the 9-6 series-opening win over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Friday night. The nine runs are a season high for the Cardinals (7-7)

With one out in the seventh and the score tied 6-6, Donovan worked a full count in a matchup with Diamondbacks left-handed reliever Joe Mantiply then lined a triple into the left-center field gap. Donovan’s aggressive heads-up base running allowed him to beat the tag at third base by a split second.

Goldschmidt then lined a two-strike single back through the middle into center field for an RBI double. That put the Cardinals back in front for good.

The Cardinals scored two runs in the eighth when Jordan Walker doubled and Masyn Winn whacked an RBI triple. Winn then scored on a sacrifice fly by rookie center fielder Victor Scott.

 

Closer Ryan Helsley pitched a scoreless ninth inning and protected a three-run lead for his fifth save in six chances this season.

The Cardinals scored four runs in the first two innings, which gave them their highest scoring output since they scored eight runs in their home opener against the Miami Marlins.

They hadn’t scored more than three runs in five straight games, and they surpassed that just 10 batters into the opening game of their series with the Diamondbacks (6-8).

They scored in each of the first three innings, and they also clubbed home runs in two of the first three innings.

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